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2017

Production of high value biological therapeutics usually involves complex manufacturing processes with high process variability. Additionally, development of robust and reliable bioprocesses can be challenging. PAT aims to enhance bioprocess understanding and implies a holistic approach to ensure that quality is built into products by design. Efficient PAT therefore calls for fast and robust analytical techniques which enables to asses high quality information about critical quality attributes and key performance indicators as parallel as possible to the manufacturing process. PATfinder™ is unique HPLC system for routine gradient separations that enables every analytical task. Equipped with bio-inert ceramic pump heads is deliberately tailored to meet the demands of analytical applications covering wide range of biomolecules. Highly sensitive and fast multi-wavelength detector enables to detect component peaks even in very fast gradients.

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2016

Productivity of the downstream bioprocessing depends among others on the efficiency of chromatographic step. One of the crucial chromatographic parameters is dynamic binding capacity (DBC) for certain biomolecule. DBC could be tailored with changing the surface area of convective pores by tailoring the surface of pre-polymerized monoliths using graft or block polymerization of polymer brushes. Grafted CIM monoliths have already been prepared via Radical Polymerization (RP) and successfully characterized (1).

Recently, the implementation and optimization of Controlled Radical Polymerization (CRP) for grafting of large pore monoliths (average diameter 6 μm ) resulted in polymethacrylate-based ionic exchanger with at least 5 times higher DBC compared to non-grafted 6 μm monoliths, while preserving high permeability. The main goal of our study was to chromatographically characterize novel grafted ion-exchanging monoliths (CIM gDEAE and CIM gSO3) to see whether novel columns still retain flow independent chromatographic properties of non-grafted monoliths.

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The upstream and downstream monoclonal antibody (mAb) bioprocessing makes them susceptible to physical and chemical modifications. In the biotechnological production process of mAbs, structural variations may arise due to some enzymatic activity. Antibody charge variants have gained considerable attention in the biotechnology industry due to their potential influence on stability and biological activity and cation-exchange chromatography (CEX) is one of the typical approaches for mAb charge variant analyses. We tested several CEX columns under different conditions and the best column for isotype separation was weak cation-exchanging CIMac COOH chromatographic monolith in pH gradient. We have proven a flow independent separation of mAb charge variants and in this way, a resolution comparable to classical CEX particulate-based analytical columns was achieved in only 6 min analysis time.

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To ensure the desired chromatographic characteristics of the CIM® monolithic column at large scales, monolith microstructure morphology, pore size distribution, porosity and surface ligand density should be uniform. To demonstrate the uniformity of large chromatographic monoliths we have developed new testing procedures. By fabricating smaller columns (disks) from different random  positions of larger monolith, non-cGMP compliant chromatographic testing can be applied on the same polymerization batch without affecting the cGMP compliance of large-scale chromatographic monolith. Each individual disk was thoroughly tested and the results were compared to the properties of the large monolith.

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There are many cases, where a single protein needs to be purified from a complex sample. Such proteins manifest themselves as impurities, which can affect further analysis, either by causing specific equipment malfunction or lower yield in the products. In other cases the specific protein is our molecule of interest, for example in glycomics analysis. In both cases high specificity for proteins, reproducibility and reliability is necessary. We have developed a model immunoaffinity column and 96-well plate based on an anti-fibrinogen monoclonal antibody, covalently immobilized onto CIMac™ analytical chromatographic monolith.

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There are many cases, where a single protein needs to be purified from a complex sample. Such proteins manifest themselves as impurities, which can affect further analysis, either by causing specific equipment malfunction or lower yield in the products. In other cases the specific protein is our molecule of interest, for example in glycomics analysis. In both cases high specificity for proteins, reproducibility and reliability is necessary. We have developed a model immunoaffinity column and 96-well plate based on an anti-fibrinogen monoclonal antibody, covalently immobilized onto CIMac™ HDZ analytical chromatographic monolith.

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2015

Methacrylate monoliths (CIM® monolithic columns) allow for very fast and efficient separations and exhibit very high binding capacities for extremely large bio-particles due to their large inner channel diameters and enhanced mass transfer characteristics.
Additionally, the ability to manufacture polymer monolithic materials ranging from analytical to large scale preparative/industrial columns has tremendous advantages. By ensuring the chromatographic properties are consistent over the whole size range, one can easily design and optimize a purification method on laboratory scale and transfer it to a production line with minimal to no additional modifications.

Until now the largest monolithic column had a volume of 8 L, which was large enough to serve the biopharmaceutics' market's needs. Now however, the capacity of that column is already at its upper limit.

By successfully employing the knowledge and experience from almost two decades of monolith production we have managed to overcome the size limitations and polymerize the largest convective chromatographic support made from one piece of material, a 40 L monolithic column.

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CIMac™ r-Protein A Analytical Column is short bed, high performance monolithic column . Primarly is intended for fast, efficient, and reproducible qualitative and quantitative analyses of Immunoglobulin G (IgG). It is suitable for use with HPLC and UPLC systems. Quantification of Immunoglobulin G is possible between 0.2 μg and 20 μg. Its small volume and short column length allow operation at high volumetric flow rates ( up to 3mL/min). The information about product quantity and purity is thus generated in just 1 minute! The column has innovative symmetric design for bi-directional flow, also extending column lifetime.

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Immunoaffinity columns using antibodies as ligands against mammalian membrane proteins could be used for different applications in protein expresion control and, if a standard available, for concentration determination. Additionally these columns are ideal for polishing step of Fc fusion proteins of mammalian receptors.

Most importantly such columns could extract a significant amount of a pure membrane mammalian protein suitable for structural analyses, such as mass spec analysis of their glycans. Immunoaffinity chromatographic monoliths against MULT-1 transmembrane and RAE-1 GPI anchored glycoproteins were developed as a part of Glycomet project with the main goal to analyze the antigen glycan parts.

Two different  preactivated support were used:  hydrazide (HDZ) and carboxy imidazole (CDI).

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2014

Biological samples often consist of a main component, such as albumin in serum, and many other constituents, present in smaller quantities, but nevertheless of high importance in biological systems. When detection of the low-abundance molecules is needed, the main component could interfere with the analyte, complicating the analysis or even making it impossible. In such cases a possible approach is to remove the interfering main component from the sample before the analysis.

Monolithic columns (CIM®) are a great foundation to build affinity chromatography methods, as they offer fast flow rates and can be modified to accomodate various ligands. We selected two most promising approaches for oriented binding of antibodies to the monolithic support. One approach was to bind antibodies to a protein A (pA) column with consequent crosslinking of the protein complex. The other approach was to chemically activate antibodies and bind them selectively to hydrazide-modified (HDZ) monolith surface.

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Surface hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity of chromatographic stationary phases is one of the important characteristics that influence the chromatographic column performance. On the one hand, the surface should be highly hydrophilic to avoid nonspecific adsorption of sample molecules; on the other hand, the hydrophobic surface is crutial to e.g. separate the molecule isoforms.Therefore, fast and easy characterization method to evaluate the surface „hydrophobic/hydrophilic character" could be valuable.

First stage in the development of this method and the objective of this study was to evaluate the hydrophobicity of test set of 1 mL CIM columns with different ligand chemistries and densities. This was achieved by separation of protein mixture under hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) conditions. Proteins were used since monoliths are used mainly in downstream of large biomolecules.

Moreover, since poor recovery under HIC conditions was observed on some columns, the research was additionally expanded with reversed phase chromatography (RPC) to obtain extra information about even more hydrophobic surface properties of monolithic columns. Therefore, after HIC step the RPC step followed and additional elution of proteins was achieved.

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Phosphoproteomics is a branch of proteomics that focuses on deriving a comprehensive view of the extent & dynamics of protein phosphorylation by way of identifying & characterizing proteins that contain a phosphate group as a posttranslational modification. One of the approaches for specific enrichment of phosphopeptides from complex samples is metal oxide affinity chromatography (MOAC), where the specific adsorption results from bridging bidentate bindings formed between the phosphate anions and the surface of a metal oxide, such as TiO2, ZrO2, Fe2O3, and Al2O3. In presented study, a rutile TiO2 nanoparticles were bound to a previously polymerised CIM hydroxy monoliths.

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Interactions between antibodies and their antigens are highly selective and therefore immensely popular for affinity chromatography. Consequently, numereous antibody immobilizations were performed on monolithic supports via different activation chemistries in the last decade. Despite the work already done there was no systematic study, where as many as possible activation chemistries were tested for the immobilization of a model monoclonal antibody with subsequent chromatographic characterization of the affinity support. In this work, various preactivated CIM monolithic columns were used for the immobilization of a model monoclonal IgG.

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Monolithic ion exchange CIM® (Convective Interaction Media) columns have been proven in quantitative analysis of different immunoglobulins such as IgM and IgG from human plasma or cell supernatants. The separation mechanism is based on ionic interactions between the ion exchange monolith and immunoglobulin that are controlled by salt concentration. Here we present another possibility of IgM determination based on monolithic CIM® OH columns where the interactions may be controlled by changes in salt concentration or by pH increase. A method for quantitative HPLC determination of IgM in cell supernatant with fluorimetric detection was developed on CIM® OH column (0.34 mL) by means of pH increase. Optimal separation of IgM from cell supernatant matrix was achieved by combining acetate and phosphate buffer in a suitable gradient profile. Two different quantification methods, i.e. calibration curve and standard addition.

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Enrichment of phosphopeptides prior to LC-MS analysis is a crucial sample preparation step because of their low stoichiometry in biological sample, longer retention on reversed phase columns, and lower ionization efficiency compared to non-phosphorylated peptides [1].The use of metal oxides, most prominently of TiO2 enabled efficient and relatively simple phosphopeptide-enrichment. In this study a new monolithic column from BIA Separations containing immobilized TiO2-nanoparticles was tested for its ability to enrich phosphopeptides. The TiO2-column was also tested for possible carryover originating from biological samples. In conclusion, tested monolithic TiO2 columns show significant binding ability for phosphopeptides and are considered as suitable for phosphopeptide enrichment.

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The demand for human immunoglobulin is invariably increasing on an annual basis. To satisfy demands, different manufacturing processes are used to isolate immunoglobulins from human plasma. A quest for alternative paths in manufacturing not only requires development of the most economical manufacturing process, but also a rapid method development and development of reliable analytics for manufacturing monitoring. For an efficient improvement of the purification methods as well as for in-process control during manufacturing stage, the usage of reliable and fast analytical techniques are of crucial importance.

Fast and reliable fingerprint-based method for characterization of immunoglobulin G (IgG) prepared from Cohn I+II+III paste in two chromatographic steps is presented. The fingerprint method bases on partial separation of proteins in linear gradient on CIMac QA 0.1 mL column. Partial separation of proteins does not allow simple quantitative analysis of the samples during the IgG production from Cohn I + II + III paste, however, a very accurate qualitative information about the composition of the sample can be obtained in less than 5 minutes.

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Challenges in monitoring the quality of vaccine production
• Process Analytical Technology (PAT) ensures process reproducibility in bioprocessing
• A mechanism to design, analyze and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of critical process parameters (CPP) which affect product quality attributes (CQA)
• Initiated by the FDA as part of the 21st Century GMP initiative in 2001 with the goal of increasing productivity
• Application of PAT in vaccine development and manufacturing is challenging due to the sample complexity and batch-to-batch variability.
• During the development of an up- and/or down-stream process of the target biomolecule, a fast, accurate and reliable analytical method is requried for determining the quantity and purity of the product intended for human use

Solution: Convective Interaction Media Monoliths
• Monoliths are chromatography media cast as a single block, inserted into a housing
• Highly inter-connected network of channels (1-2 μm) containing functionalised binding sites for large biomolecules (viruses, VLPs, pDNA, antibodies)
• Performance unaffected by increasing the flow rate or molecular size

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2013

The development of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines has become a global effort due to its vast impact on overall world health conditions. A brief overview of cancer vaccine characterization techniques, especially in the area of high-resolution mass spectrometry, is presented. It is highly conceivable that the proper use of advanced technologies such mass spectrometry, along with the appropriate chemical and physical property evaluations, will yield tremendous in-depth scientific understanding for the characterization of vaccines in various stages of the development. This work presents the physiochemical and biological characterization of two cancer vaccines: Racotumomab and Her1-ECD. Racotumomab monoclonal antibody is a murine anti-idiotypic antibody that mimics N-glycolyl-GM3 gangliosides. This antibody has been tested as an anti-idiotypic cancer vaccine, adjuvated in Al(OH)3, in several clinical trials for melanoma, breast, and lung cancer. The Her1-ECD is a vaccine preparation based on the extracellular domain of HER1 and it is being evaluated in Phase I clinical study in patients with refractory prostate cancer.

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There are two different designs of chromatographic columns concerning the flow profile. Most of today's HPLC columns belong to the group of so-called axial mode operating columns, while the radial ones with a radial flow pattern are more rare. Which type performs better depends on the particular case but it seems that the radial operating columns are attracting interest since they exhibit some beneficial features. One of the main problems of radial operating chromatographic columns is the changing of a mobile phase linear velocity over the chromatographic bed. Because of that, matrix efficiency for porous particulate supports varies by its position within the bed, and overall performance is more difficult to predict.

This problem is not present when the monolithic supports are used, since it was demonstrated that their chromatographic properties are flow unaffected even at the extreme linear velocities. This was confirmed also for the radial operating mode.

The monolith and radial flow housing were designed for extremely high flow rates, up to 70 CV/min, which is the range of the flow rates applied on membranes. This was achieved by proper monolith dimensions with the height of 55 mm, inner diameter of 6.0 mm and thickness of only 4.5 mm.

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2012

Glycosylation is one of nature mechanism for invreasing the diversity of protein structures affecting biophysical vjaracterostocs and bioactivity. Glycoproteins exist as mixture of different isoforms ("glycoforms"). In this mixture a group od different glyco components is attached to individual glycosylation site. Different glyco componets attached to the same site may have diggerent effect on biophysical charachteristics of glycoproteins. The type of glycosylation and the degree of heterogenity are important for many reasons starting from stability, activity, clinical efficency (toxicity, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity), to standardization and patentability.

Thus, it is necessary to separate glycoforms and as much as possible to difine the heterogenity i.e. population of of glyco components attached to the singele glycosysilation site.

External invertase is a widely usef model for studying the influance of the glyco-component on protein stability. External invertase from yeast Sccharomyces cerevisiae has 14 potential N-glycosylation sites in the sequence, 13 of which are fully or partially glycosylated with olygomannans of varying sizes.

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